HAMDEN, Conn. — CTtransit’s electric bus fleet has been removed from operation after one of them caught fire in Hamden on Saturday.
“CTtransit, in consultation with CTDOT, decided to remove the electric bus fleet from operation until a full investigation is completed,” said Josh Morgan, a spokesperson for the Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT).
Transportation officials said the bus was not in service at the time of the fire, which happened in the parking lot of the CTtransit bus depot on State Street.
According to the Hamden Fire Department, exposures were protected at the scene. Two CTtransit workers were transported as a precaution from exposure to the smoke and one firefighter was transported for heat exhaustion.
Fire officials also added that fires like this one involving lithium-ion batteries are difficult to extinguish due to the thermal chemical process that produces great heat and continually reignites.
“The batteries hold a lot more electrical charge which then burn for a lot longer periods of time which obviously water itself is not going to extinguish it unless it’s a large amount of that water. All these electric buses and vehicles now that are on the roads, they pose a different challenge for us that the fire service in general, we’re looking at different ways to extinguish these fires as they definitely pose a larger challenge for us with copious amounts of water and engineering feats that we’re looking into,” said Asst. Fire Chief Jeffrey Naples of the Hamden Fire Department.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Electric CTtransit bus catches fire: Hamden firefighters
Data shows electric vehicle fires are rare.
The electric bus fire in Hamden came one day after Gov. Ned Lamont and other state officials gathered Friday to highlight Connecticut’s Clean Air Act, which includes plans to expand the state’s electric bus fleet and also prohibits the procurement of diesel-powered buses after Jan. 1, 2024.
The cause of the electric bus fire in Hamden is still under investigation.
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